Dear friends and supporters:
Can you imagine taking your baby to the children’s hospital and being told your child will die because there is no clean water, mosquito net, or just $5 to buy malaria medication? Yet, every 35 seconds, a child dies from tropical diseases such as malaria unnecessarily. Tropical diseases are poverty diseases because they are preventable, treatable, and curable. Over 85% of all children who die in Africa annually die from malaria unnecessarily.
Malaria is not a difficult disease to eradicate. Clean water, good toilets, mosquito nets, nutritious food, and anti-malaria medications are all that is needed. Yet, more than 3.4 million children die every year from water-related diseases in Africa- That’s almost the entire city of Los Angeles. Nearly all deaths, 99 percent, occur in the developing world, according to WHO, and UNICEF, 2009. 780 Million Lack access to clean water – That is almost 2 and half times the United States population. Lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every four hours, according to WHO and UNICEF, 2009. To those of us fortunate enough to call Canada our home, this would be inconceivable. Yet to many parents in too many places in this world, this is a reality.
I am a victim. I have been there. I have personally experienced what it means to be a victim of a needless disease like malaria. I have worn the shoe and can tell you where exactly how it pinches. One of my children changed the path of my life. Her name was Goodness (a twin sister to Mercy) and on March 20 of 2006 we lost this precious little girl to malaria at the age of 16 months. Our beautiful baby girl was taken and it didn't have to be this way.
I returned to my rural community of Ohafia in South-Eastern Nigeria, West Africa when she passed on and decided then and there that I could - and would - make a difference; to save other children and to prevent other parents from going through the trauma we went through when we lost our own Goodness. My first response was to extend my credit card well beyond its' limits by purchasing anti-malaria medications and nets. I knew then that I had to find a way to help other children and African rural villages to avoid burying another child needlessly. Similarly, ignorance and fear perpetuate the plagues of HIV and AIDS and CHAMA works to assist people by providing medical assistance and peer education on causes and prevention.
To this end, CHAMA has affected the lives of over 1 million children dying from malaria, carried out over 800 surgeries on children. CHAMA has also built a school for a community of over 100 years without a school, built a solar panel powered well, toilets and empowered single mothers with sewing skills in Africa. Currently, CHAMA has a presence in various African countries: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Liberia.
Presently, I am proud to call Canada my home where I live with my family. There is no malaria in Canada for sure and my children have clean drinking water right inside their rooms. But we cannot forget those children we left behind. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. No child deserves to die of malaria no matter where the child comes from. These children are not dying of disease; they are dying of poverty and neglect. Please, consider donating today to give hope to these children. Thank you in advance my friend for your generous support.